On Sunday 22nd February, Sugar Trampoline had a stall at the Reading Vintage Fair. I decided to bring along a bit of everything, so the stall was very varied and would hopefully appeal to a lot of people. I practised my booth setup a few times before the big day, wanting to fill the space more effectively than I had at my previous stall, and also worked hard sewing some new items ready for the event. I was able to purchase (very cheaply!) a folding 4ft table with a handle, so transporting this was a breeze. I really liked the size when fully extended and after covering the top with some cute floral fabric, I was pleased with the end result!
Improvements I would make include having a brand banner, and also a clothes rail. I did the best I could by hanging items from the table, and having a particularly heavy cardigan folded on top. Overall, I think the stall was very accessible as I had all the main bases covered, including my proudly displayed PayPal card reader sticker so people would know I accepted card payments!
But now for the important part... how successful was the day? Well it wasn't, really. Pretty early on into the event it began to pour with rain, so what was shaping up to be a fairly regular stream of people coming in for a browse quickly dwindled into the pitifully irregular passer by. There was little interest in the stall and I think that, despite one other stall owner knowing what sweet lolita was, both this venue and this area are not really suited to bright colours, accessories, and "kawaii" items. One thing I'm beginning to notice from attending vintage events is that only a small number of the people who attend them are actually into alternative fashion. They simply like buying clothes that happen to be vintage, and anything appearing to be outside of the mainstream doesn't really come into it.
It is tough not having your work appreciated, but I think it's something we all go through at some point, especially if you are an artist of some description. I do have some vintage clothes in stock, and a part of me can't help wondering if it is something I should focus more on. Vintage events are becoming a big deal up and down the country, with the famous ones having a particularly high turn out. But somehow, I can't seem to get on board. Maybe it's unrealistic, but I am determined to stick to reaching for my end goal, the one I have been dreaming of for so long, which is to sell clothing that I designed and made.
I know I have to push any doubts aside and remain optimistic for the future. The important thing is that I learned a lot of valuable information by having a stall at this event. I believe that it is by no means time to give up-- instead, I need to recharge, re-evaluate, and figure out what to try next. The vintage "scene" clearly isn't for me and isn't going to reach the right people. I look forward to finding an event which is more in line with my customer base, and also getting more stock made!
Things can only be better next time :)